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Usain Bolt 100m: Victory in Stacked Field Makes Jamaican Star Greatest Ever

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England.(Photo by Julia Vynokurova/Getty Images)
Julia Vynokurova/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIAugust 5, 2012

Usain Bolt proved without a shadow of a doubt that he is the greatest sprinter in history. I can understand the arguments for Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens for a different reasons, but if you look at what Bolt has accomplished in his career, it becomes difficult to dispute.

The field that Bolt breezed past with an Olympic record 9.63 was the greatest in the history of the sport.

There were seven men in the field who ran sub-10 seconds. The man that finished eighth, Asafa Powell of Jamaica, ran well beneath his own standards.

He had run 9.94 in the semifinals to qualify for the final.

Bolt's closest competitor was another countryman, Yohan Blake. On most any other day, the 9.73 Blake ran the 100 meters in would have been enough for a gold medal. After all, it was the sixth-fastest time in history.

But against the man who should officially be named a superhero, it wasn't enough. Also among the mere mortals Bolt defeated was the best the United States had to offer. Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Each of them cracked the 9.9-second mark.

No sprinter has ever defeated such an esteemed field of challengers. The other greats in history may have had a rival, but Bolt had at least four adversaries who could have easily staked their claim as the world's fastest man.

But it was not to be.

Despite the doubts of others, setbacks during this track season and mounds of pressure, Bolt produced when it mattered most. What makes it all the more cool is that he made it look as though it was all a part of his master plan.

His signature stride and calm demeanor were still present. It appears he performs with ease while others strain to even stay close.

There has never been a sprinter more charismatic, and certainly never one this fast.

 

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